The Hawks wasted no time, being at a disadvantage, in the 1st period. Brent Seabrook inadvertently tripped Nino Niederreiter, to give the Wild a Power Play, 30 seconds, into the game. Albeit, was a iffy call. However, the Hawks wouldn’t allow anything to come, of the Wild Power Play. A close call, on a shot, off the Hawks’ post, lead to a good shorthanded chance, from Marcus Kruger and Michal Handzus, as the Hawks would kill the early penalty.
After both teams getting takin turns in each other’s zones, for the next 10 minutes, Clayton Stoner hooked Kris Versteeg. The Hawks were rewarded a 2:00 Power Play, in which would prove to be fruitless.
A few minutes later, Erik Haula would fire a shot, that rebounded back to him, as he snuck the puck past Corey Crawford, to give the Wild a 1-0 lead. It certainly wasn’t Crawford’s finest moment, as he seemed to lose the rebounding puck, which kept him out of position, for Haula to bury it in the net.
The Wild would maintain the lead throughout the remainder, of the 1st period.
The Hawks started the 2nd period, controlling the puck for the majority, of the start. Nothing could be made of it, however, as Ilya Bryzgalov was doing a phenomenal job of controlling rebounds, and limiting 2nd chances, for the Hawks. Peter Regin would draw a penalty, Jonas Brodin hooked him, as he was going to the net.
The score would remain 1-1, to the end of the 2nd period. The Hawks played a much better period, even though they weren’t exactly bad, in then 1st.
Early in the 3rd period, the Hawks seemed to have come down with something, as they were coughing up the puck, like crazy. About 5 minutes, into the 3rd, they settled down enough for Jonathan Toews to score a dirty rebound goal, on Bryzgalov, to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. The goal was Toews 10th point, of the playoffs.
The Wild would up the pressure, in the final 10 minutes, of the 3rd period. Even with their scoring chances piling up, they were no match for Corey Crawford, who made several spectacular saves.
The Hawks would hold on and survive, en route to a 2-1 victory, over the Wild. Tonight’s win is huge, as it very well could have decided the fate of the series.
The Hawks now have a 3-2 series lead, and need only one more win to advance to the Western Conference finals. Game 6 will be Tuesday night, in Minnesota, where the Hawks haven’t won during this series. If the Wild win, the deciding Game 7 will be played in Chicago, where the Wild haven’t won.
Let’s wrap this up, in 6, in Minnesota.